Having started working at Hawthorn as a Project Technician ten years ago, Ryan Grant has worked his way up through the ranks, becoming Senior Project Manager in March this year.

With a particular focus on exhibition work, Ryan heads up a variety of exciting projects at venues such as Five at Farnborough, Millbrook Proving Ground and NEC Birmingham. We caught up with him over a coffee to find out a bit more about what makes him tick.

You focus a lot on exhibitions, what do you think makes this kind of work different?

The level of finish and the attention to detail is always incredibly high when you’re dealing with exhibitions. The client always has high expectations and everything has to be perfect. There’s a lot of pressure involved but I think it’s that challenge that makes them some of my favourite projects to work on. I studied set design whilst at University so I have a big interest in the carpentry side of things. Working with Dan Carden, our head of scenic, is great because he’s also a highly-experienced carpenter and we both know exactly what finish we’re looking for and how we can achieve it.

What element of your job would you say that you enjoy the most?

I love rigging! For me, it’s the most important part of the job. If the rigging doesn’t go up then nothing else does. I enjoy flying motors, I enjoy big, complicated rigs and I’d say it probably makes up about 60 percent of my work. I hold a National Rigging Certificate (NRC), which is a qualification that has been developed for riggers working within the entertainment industry. This means that I can rig in amazing venues such as Wembley Arena. That’s awesome!   

You’ve been with Hawthorn for ten years now, what do you think makes it such a great place to work?

It has to be the people. It sounds quite clichéd but it really does feel like a great big family. We’re a close team and we all think along the same lines. Everyone is striving for the same end goal and that’s to deliver above and beyond our client’s expectations.  

I really enjoy working with our team of technicians too, supporting them to continue their professional development and set clear career goals. 

So, what do you enjoy getting up to when you’re not at work?

During our busy periods, I can be going straight from one job to another so I always make sure that when I’m not working, I spend as much time with my family as possible. I also enjoy playing video games and hanging out with my dog, an 8 stone German Shepherd called Solomon.